The loss of a family member can be hard on those close, but the loss of a best friend is far more devastating. To those who deny this, you have never truly had a best friend.
In my life I have lost many, a few of them were human, most were four legged or feathered friends. With family there is a social obligation, for those not free enough to ignore, we are conditioned to love our family regardless of how horrible they are to us.
This is why child abuse has been so rampant in the past, society has convinced us that we must love our family. But we don't choose family, they are genetic contributors or benefactors, we have a responsibility to care for our offspring but that is the only obligation we truly have.
We do choose our beat friends, and if we're smart, we choose at least a few really close ones that we would do more for than we would do for any family member. Most often our best friends will not be of the human species.
Unconditional love, as I say, is not a human skill, we can learn it but we must be taught by other animals. We lost this skill because of religion indoctrinating us into believing that unconditional love has conditions.
So we become confused, thinking that it is our genetic relations and social contracts that make love instead of considering how they treat us, until we experience that true love that crosses the species boundaries, a love without condition, without obligation, without social pressures. We become so connected with those best friends that even family comes second to their needs.
Recently my neighbor lost his best friend, a little dog that adored him. This was his only true friend, he even has no family as they all just forgot he existed.
I usually do not get along with him, but now I cannot even consider being rude. He lost his world a few days ago, and I cry for him because I know his pain.
I hope he finds this blog so he can read this, because I know he needs to hear it but I don't know how to approach him. The heartbreak, the pain, it's worth it for that pure and fleeting love.
The companionship, for as short as their lives are, cannot be found in another human because humans are corrupted by social pressures. It hurts when we lose it, but "a thing isn't beautiful because it lasts."
The short time they impact our lives is what makes our lives worth living, we learn to keep them alive in our minds, to remember their effect on us is how they remain with us. The trials we go through to keep them as long as we can makes the loss of that final moment a bigger struggle, but it also makes those moments when they're there for us so much more valuable.
Companions for which we gain nothing of physical value from are the ones which have the greatest personal value, they have nothing to offer so they give us everything they do have. These companions give us more trust than any family member ever has, more compassion when we need it than any human has.
Our friends, the true friends, regardless of species, are the ones we not only benefit the most, they are the ones we need most. Hold onto their memories, even while moving on to another friendship, to keep all of them as alive as you are.